A few years back I spent a lot of time with a particular group of students as they went from grade 5 into 6. As an artist in residence the chance to work with the same group of students over two years is golden. This project was designed to enhance observational and drawing skills. Another important component was to think descriptively while drawing; to add a quality of personification to the art.
Like the papier mâchè starfish this drawing illustrates the steps involved in the project. I started with a detailed, pencil drawing, added colour with watercolour pencil crayons and then blended with a brush and water. Studies of the starfish before this included: blind contour, drawing only the negative shapes, and then texture only (no outline).
I remember that when I went to create this piece I realized that I had left the starfish in the classroom. Working from my sketches and memory freed me up to enhance the descriptive and symbolic aspects in the work.